Coal commission can finish fast if finance min puts money up – RWE CEO
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s coal commission can conclude its work soon if the country’s finance minister puts enough money on the table, the head of the mining and energy company RWE, Rolf Martin Schmitz, said at the annual conference of the German energy agency dena when asked whether he believed the commission would finish by year-end. Schmitz said his company’s employees were well aware of the ongoing structural changes, and an end to coal-fired power generation was not a question anymore, only the pathway remained to be specified. But the miners need to know what will happen to them and need security for the next 20 years, he said. The government has postponed the final report of the coal commission until January after the coal mining federal states intervened, saying the commission had not looked at the issue of structural change sufficiently. Also speaking at the dena conference, conservative member of parliament for one of the east German mining regions, Klaus-Peter Schulze (CDU), said that the current coal commission’s proposals for managing the structural change were not specific enough. “I am glad that [the report] has been postponed.” Schulze also stressed that the final decision on the measures needed to buffer structural change rested with parliament, where he expected “tough debates”.
For background, read CLEW’s coal commission watch.